Volume 41, 2008
Philosophy of Mathematics
Why Pragmaticism is Neither Mathematical Structuralism nor Fictionalism
Despite some surface similarities, Charles Peirce’s philosophy of mathematics, pragmaticism, is incompatible with both mathematical structuralism and fictionalism. Pragmaticism has to do with experimentation and observation concerning the forms of relations in diagrammatic and iconic representations of
mathematical entities. It does not presuppose mathematical foundations although it has these representations as its objects of study. But these objects do have a reality which structuralism and fictionalism deny.